At the recent CTPA Annual Meeting, CTPA and the University of Connecticut announced that they will work together to initiate a two-year degree program in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry at the University.
This program will be housed within the Department of Natural Resources, within UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Once fully implemented, students will be able to graduate with an Associate degree in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. This degree program is intended to prepare students for direct entry into the working world of professional tree care. It will also, for students so motivated, prepare these students for continuing their studies in a four degree in a related natural resource field.
The establishment of this program involves designing a series of required courses for these students. Several of these courses already exist, such as those in plant pathology and integrated pest management. New courses, relating to Arboriculture and to Urban and Community Forestry, are in the process of being created.
As this plan moves forward, the Department of Natural Resources will work with the University to ensure that all requirements are met and that it has gained all of the necessary curriculum approvals. The Department will seek to implement this new program in stages, with the Arboriculture course and a Dendrology course to be added to the Department’s course offerings in the fall of 2019. A Fundamentals of Urban and Community Forestry course will be offered in the spring semester 2020 and the full degree program announced for new students in the fall of 2020.
CTPA has an important role to play in moving in this effort forward. It has agreed to provide the funding for the two adjunct professors who will be needed to teach the additional courses, in Arboriculture and in Urban and Community Forestry. CTPA has committed to do so out of its current resources. As the degree program proves its value and becomes established, CTPA will likely then spearhead the creation of an ongoing funding source to pay for these professors.
CTPA members will also have an important role to play both in encouraging students to enroll in this program and, maybe more importantly, in their willingness to hire graduates from this program. For these reasons, UConn is very open to the input CTPA and its members are able to provide as these courses are developed and implemented.
The CTPA Board has established a long-term committee to work with UConn. This committee began meeting this past summer and is chaired by Carter Peck. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.